SO, who is the best NRL rookie? Due to last year?s player boycott of the Dally M Awards we shall never conclusively know if Billy Slater or Brett Firman was the best 2003 had to offer. But as this season hits the mid-point, there has been an influx of new talent that could have a significant bearing on the futures of a number of NRL clubs. Here is a look at the best to emerge for the future this season.
IT'S been the most feared sidestep in rugby league for 15 years.
HAVING almost beaten the champions last week, East Coast Eagles will be hoping to notch up their first win of the season when they entertain Dublin Blues at Sydney Parade in the pick of this weekends games in Leinster.
THIS Saturday, June 12th, 2004.
VB Premier League
Newtown v Western Suburbs
This is another showdown between two great rivals since 1908, and another must-win game for the Jets. Get down to Henson Park in big numbers to support our boys.
Sunday, June 13th.
Jim Beam Cup
Sohier Park, Ourimbah
Ourimbah v Newtown.
The Newtown RLFC is proud to be sponsored by such great Australian business enterprises as Sydney Airport and the Petersham RSL Club.
A shortened round this weekend with the Bulldogs, Roosters and Broncos all enjoying the bye as they are providing the bulk of the players to the second Origin match at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday.
IN Bulls Eye this week Brian Noble looks ahead to Sunday's Round 14 game at the Willows when the Bulls look to get back to win ways against Salford City Reds.
TONY Rea has dropped centre Rob Jackson and utility Tom Haughey for Saturday's game at the Haliwell Jones Stadium.
The pair have faced the axe on the back of poor performances and the team will see the return of Joe Mbu and Paul Sykes.
Mbu was rested last week while Paul Sykes was carrying an ankle injury.
Sykes this week joined his housemate Rob Purdham in signing a new three-year contract with the club.
The game kicks off at 4.05 and is live on both Sky Sports and BBC Radio 94.9fm.
Broncos Junior Academy willplay the curtain raiser at the Haliwell Jones Stadium.
Team as follows:
Sykes, Kirkpatrick, O'Halloran, Wells,Greenwood, Sanderson, Moran,Retchless, Budworth, Trindall, Mbu, Brocklehurst, Dymock: Botham, Stringer,
RUGBY league clubs have been asked to support this month?s joint fundraising dinner & auction for seriously injured players Matt King and Danny Scott by donating their replica shirts for sale or auction at the event, which takes place at Huddersfield?s George Hotel on Sunday 27 June.
THE UK?s most successful Rugby Club, World Champions, Bradford Bulls, have today announced plans for the launch of ?The Bradford Bulls Foundation?. Look North?s Christa Ackroyd will host the event, which will aim to provide details of the Foundation?s plans to continue the work of the award winning Bradford Bulls Community Development Programme and the Foundation will be officially launched by Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport and Tourism.
A solid performance by the Dragons at Penrith Stadium in front of 16,184 patrons was good enough for them to come away with the win over the Panthers by 28-8.
MELBOURNE Storm winger Matt Geyer has been ruled out of tomorrow night?s match against the South Sydney Rabbitohs due to a nasty gash on his left shin, suffered during last week?s six-point win over the Wests Tigers.
BULLDOGS pivot Braith Anasta is set to make his long awaited return from injury in the National Rugby League clash against the Canberra Raiders at Gosford next week.
PENRITH may make last minute changes to their first grade side to play St George-Illawarra tonight after a mystery virus circulated through the club.
A blow for the Cronulla Sharks in the leadup to tomorrow night's game against Canberra, with both fullback David Peachey and centre Nigel Vagana ruled out with injury. Peachey succumbed to a thigh strain in the second half of last weekend's game against Brisbane, while Vagana injured his ankle in the dying minutes of that same game.
TRIBUTES have begun flowing in for former rugby league referee and broadcaster Col Pearce, who passed away overnight.